Easy Roasted Tomatoes

This recipe might be one of my favorite time-savers of all time. Roasted tomatoes can be the base of a good soup, pasta sauce, pizza sauce, or whatever you can think of. In this application, I’m seasoning the tomatoes and roasting them with both hot and sweet Italian sausages to bring all the flavors together in one roast, and then separating the sausages to finish the tomato sauce.

You can also leave out the sausage and turn the tomato base into a fast and easy soup, but more on that later. For now, here’s the pasta sauce.  Serve over whichever shaped pasta you want.

Directions

Preheat your oven to 425º.

Spread tomatoes evenly on a large baking sheet, cut side up. Tuck the sausages in-between all the tomatoes, and throw the garlic on top. The tomatoes and sausages will help add flavor to each other as they cook. Lightly drizzle them with olive oil, and then sprinkle everything with the salt, pepper, and basil, as shown in the picture.

Put your pasta water on to boil with a palmful of salt. This may seem excessive, but you really want your water very well seasoned to make sure your pasta has good taste. Don’t worry, your pasta won’t taste like sea water. Cook your pasta according to package directions while your tomatoes are roasting. Everything should finish at about the same time. Drain pasta and return to pot.

Roast for 15 minutes, turn sausages over to brown on the other side, and cook for another 15. You know the tomatoes are done, when you can easily smash one with a fork. Remove sausages from tomatoes and set aside.

Carefully spoon tomatoes and garlic into a large heat-proof bowl, and puree with an emersion blender or toss into a regular blender and blend until smooth. Adjust salt to taste. Mix about a cup of sauce in with the cooked pasta so every piece is covered. You can serve the sausages whole on top with more sauce, or slice them and mix them in.  This is really up to you and whether or not you’re being fancy or just trying to get the kids fed…assuming you have kids. This should give you plenty for some leftovers, or you can transform the leftover sauce into soup (see below).

If you want soup, forgo the sausage and just cook the tomatoes and puree in a stockpot as normal, but pour in the juice left in the baking sheet. Also add in about 2-3 cups of chicken or vegetable broth and about a cup of heavy cream. I also like to add a splash of dry white wine and simmer for about 10 minutes before serving. Add parmesan cheese on top, maybe a little more fresh basil. My favorite part about this is once you make the tomatoes, you can puree and freeze them for later use. This is great for farmers market season so you can have homegrown tomatoes all winter long.

Ingredients

  • 10 Roma Tomatoes, halved
  • 3 lg Cloves of Garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 lb Sweet Italian Sausage Links
  • 1 lb Hot Italian Sausage Links (you can do mild if you aren’t a fan of spicy foods)
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • Dried Basil (or chopped fresh basil, your choice really)
  • Whatever pasta you like
  • Parmesan Cheese, grated

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